Friday, November 4, 2016

Skyrim Revisited

You think you know what this is about, but you're wrong...

Yes, this is only tangentially related to Skyrim Special Edition.

You see, I was starting to get the itch to play Skyrim again. Song of the Dragonborn was starting to bounce around my head, I started dreaming of snowy forests and spell-slinging was time.

So I decide to get Skyrim back on my computer, hoping my saves were still stored in the Steam Cloud, when I hear about Skyrim Special Edition: an HD Remaster of Skyrim coming this fall!

It was the entire game plus DLC! Yay! No new content. Boo. It was for all new consoles and PC! Yay! Console versions are $60. Boo. PC users like me who own the original through Steam get it for absolutely free! Yay! My graphics card would probably have seven strokes and a heart attack if I even thought about trying to run the updated graphics. Boo.

Now, the big draw for the console versions was mod support, which PC has always been privy to but consoles heretofore were unable to access. Now, I had never modded before and up until now did not really have any desire to given how so many can screw up the game. But this time around, I thought I'd actually give some light mods a try and actually use the advantage I have owning it on PC.

I only downloaded a handful of mods and tried to pick mostly minor ones. I added a mod that told NPC townspeople to run and hide during dragon and vampire attacks to cut down on senseless deaths (after a guy who I encouraged to elope to Riften with his girlfriend died in a vampire attack not three days later and left his stuff to me). I added a few Mer orphans to adopt, a mod that allowed me to tell the Blades to get bent - thereby opening their quests back up while keeping Paarthurnax alive and getting that quest out of my journal - and some additional spells that have proved useful.

Finally, the most game-changing mod I added was a new follower. I always avoided using followers in Skyrim because followers are generally not immortal (and if they are, it's only for the duration of a certain questline), I am a mage, and followers tend to walk right into the line of fire (or lightning as it were). At first I wanted to find something that turned followers "essential", but the few I found were shady. So then I looked for an added essential followers, and most of them were buxom ladies whose character design made them look like they were from a completely different game.

Then I found Inigo.

My friends, if you only download one Skyrim mod, make it Inigo. He is a blue Khajiit, and apart from being blue looks like something the character creation would make and thus doesn't seem out of place. He is off his nut, but in an endearing way. He is essential, so he cannot die, and he has some pretty decent starting skills. He is fully-voiced to the point where he makes comments on specific quests and areas moreso than any Bethesda-made NPC, is more customizable than a standard follower in terms of AI, and even has his own questline that pops up after a certain amount of time - it is of this writing unfinished, but the modmaker promises a resolution in the next update whenever that may be.

So yeah, I still love Skyrim. I'd love to eventually give Morrowind and Oblivion a try now that I know that they too have a third-person option (Arena and Daggarfall are still, to my knowledge, first-person only). If I ever afford the setup to start doing YouTube videos I may even give Elder Scrolls Online a shot. And finally, if Elder Scrolls VI ever materializes, I'll definitely be at the front of the line.

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